Exactly 89 years ago, On May 12, 1931, Asantehene Prempeh I (Kwaku Dua III) died in Kumasi, Gold Coast.
Asantehene (King) Prempeh I’s original throne name was Prince Kwaku Dua III Asamu of the Kingdom of Ashanti. Prempeh I’s mother, Asantehemaa (Queen-mother) Yaa Akyaa, was queen mother of the Kingdom of Ashanti from 1880 to 1917. Through strategic political marriages, she built the military power to secure the Golden Stool for her son Prince Prempeh.
In 1888 Prince Prempeh ascended to throne, enthroned 16-year-old King Asantehene Prempeh I of the Kingdom of Ashanti, as king of the Kingdom of Ashanti King Asantehene Prempeh I assumed the throne name Kwaku Dua III as King Asantehene Prempeh I’s kingship was beset by difficulties from the very onset of his reign. King Asantehene Prempeh I of the Kingdom of Ashanti began the defending of Asante from Britain and when Prempeh I was asked by Britain to accept a protectorate over his state Kingdom of Ashanti, King Asantehene Prempeh I rejected it and stated in his reply that Britain had miscalculated.
King Asantehene Prempeh I began an active campaign of the Asante sovereignty. The British offered to take the Kingdom of Ashanti under their protection, but King Asantehene Prempeh I of the Kingdom of Ashanti refused each request.
In December 1895, the British left Cape Coast with an expeditionary force. It arrived in Kumasi in January 1896 under the command of Robert Baden-Powell. The Asantehene directed the Ashanti to not resist, as he feared a genocide. Shortly thereafter, Governor William Maxwell arrived in Kumasi as well.
Britain annexed the territories of the Ashanti and the Fanti. Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh was deposed and arrested, and he and other Ashanti leaders were sent into exile in Seychelles, via Elmina and Freetown, Sierra Leone, where Prince Kofi Nti, son of Kofi Karikari was sent from Trinidad to act as his secretary. The Asante Union was dissolved. The British formally declared the state of the Ashanti Kingdom and the coastal regions to be the GoldCoast colony. A British Resident was permanently placed in the city of Kumasi, and soon after a British fort was built there.
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